I couldn’t sleep. My head hurt. It had for two days now. I lay in bed, awake, hoping restful slumber would Overtake me. Yet it refused to join me in that comfortable and warm space.
My body was relaxed. I had no desire to move. My breathing was steady while occasionally shallow. Every now and then, a sound akin to a tiny whimper would escape my lips. My eyes refused to open as they were either lazy or fully engaged in inviting a dreamless sleep.
My mind went from blank to wishing my head didn’t hurt to thinking about the need to check on the drying process of the pottery I had thrown to wondering where my AirPods were and remembering them in the podcast studio.
But one o’clock in the morning isn’t the time to take care of those things. Is it?
I guess it was.
As if in a groggy dream, I found myself throwing on some sweats and my slippers so I could go walking in the middle of the night’s crisp air. There was just enough light to see by, so I thanked the stars I didn’t need a flashlight. My eyes were grateful too. The less light, the better at this stage.
I walked out to the arena where my pottery space and podcast studio are. I chose not to grab a jacket and was surprised at how pleasant the temperature was. For a mid-March night, it was perfect, not quite chilly, a slight nip and not a wisp of a breeze to be felt. Calm, peaceful, silent stillness embraced me as I walked.
I found my Airpods right where I saw them in my head. I adjusted the pottery to give me a couple more days before it came to leather hard for trimming. Once those tasks were completed, I hoped my head was clear enough to crawl back into bed and find sleep. Instead, I gave into a strong pull towards the labyrinth.
My footsteps on the gravel driveway were the only sounds to be heard as I walked toward the gardens. It wasn’t long before I stood at the entrance pondering my question and the first step I’d take on the journey toward the center. And again, the crunch of my feet on the rocks accompanied me as I walked the path.
I thought about my business. I thought about the people’s lives I’ve been blessed to touch. I thought about where I’d like to go and what I wanted to do moving forward. What is my current direction, theme, and purpose?
I stepped into the center and took pause. I looked up into the starlit sky and admired the beauty that shone down upon me. I tuned into the feel of the crisp air on the skin of my face, neck, and hands. How it slowly seeped through my pants and kissed my legs. It wasn’t cold. I was truly comfortable and felt embraced by the night. I marveled at the silence and wondered when the last time I experienced it was.
I honestly can’t remember. Part of me wanted to stay out there forever. I tried to soak in something I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced and don’t know the next time I’ll take the opportunity to. I’m genuinely not a middle-of-the-night person, and sleep is delightfully precious.
Another part of me was already writing this musing. Aware, inspired, and seeking a voice.
A side note: This experience has returned to my mind frequently in the past couple of weeks. I realized this moment was more than meets the eye.
That evening, it was me. Only me.
In the silent stillness of the night, there were no more to-do’s, no one asking for my help or attention, simply ME.
Do you know what the message is/was? Create these moments. Find opportunities to remove the backpack of expectations and needs of others. Create solo sanctuary moments of peace.
I believe our self-care needs shift and change as we move through life. What worked five years ago may not work today, and what works today may be abysmally inadequate tomorrow.
It seems I need to explore weightless solitude for a bit 😉